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Sunwin takes on former Caledonia franchises

Sunwin Motor Group, one of Yorkshire's largest traders, has bought the Renault franchise for Preston and Blackpool following Caledonia's decision to split with the marque.

After the acquisition, Sunwin expects to see its turnover increase from £148m to £180m, retailing about 13,000 cars a year.

The group, which is the motor retail arm of the Yorkshire Co-op, took over operations of the dealerships, which are on the Riversway Motor Park in Preston and Squires Gate in Blackpool, last week.

Sunwin now has a total of 11 sites, four of which are Renault and the rest Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Land Rover, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Peugeot, Renault and Rover franchises.

Steve Whitaker, group operations manager, says the company is looking to expand its Renault portfolio.

“Preston and Blackpool are thriving locations with modern purpose- built Renault dealerships and we aim to bring the successes of our Bradford and Halifax dealerships to the local area,” he says. No redundancies have been made in either dealership with all Caledonia staff being retained by Sunwin. “We will be recruiting for a number of positions in the near future,” Whitaker adds. Last year, Sunwin profits increased by 41.7 per cent to £1.9m on turnover of £145m.

Caledonia ditched its Renault franchises in Blackburn, Blackpool, Bolton, Preston, Slough, Warrington and Wigan to reduce debts (AM, March 21). Warrington and Wigan were bought by Arnold Clark while Renault Retail Group acquired Slough and Bolton. The Blackburn franchise no longer exists.

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